10 SEPTEMBER 2012

Speaker: Tim Roughgarden, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University
Title: Porting the Computer Science Toolbox to Game Theory and Economics
Host School: Duke
Duke Host: Kamesh Munagala (kamesh at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: 
NCSU Host:

Abstract

Theoretical computer science has brought new ideas and techniques to game and economic theory. A primary signature of the computer science approach is {em approximation} — the idea of building credibility for a proposed solution by proving that its performance is always within a small factor of an ideal (and typically unimplementable) solution. We explain two of our recent contributions in this area, one motivated by networks and one by auctions.

We first discuss the “price of anarchy”: how well does decentralized (or “selfish”) behavior approximates centralized optimization? This concept has been analyzed in many applications, including network routing, resource allocation, network formation, health care, and even models of basketball. We highlight a new theory of robust price of anarchy bounds, which apply even to systems that are not in equilibrium.

Second, we consider auction design: for example, what selling procedure should be used to maximize the revenue of a seller? On the analysis side, we highlight a new framework that explicitly connects average-case (i.e., Bayesian) analysis, the dominant paradigm in economics, with the worst-case analysis approach common in computer science. On the design side, we provide a distribution-independent auction that performs, for a wide class of input distributions, almost as well as the distribution-specific optimal auction.

Biography

Tim Roughgarden received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2002 and joined the Stanford CS department in 2004, where he is currently an associate professor. His research interests are in theoretical computer science, especially its interfaces with game theory and networks. He wrote the book “Selfish Routing and the Price of Anarchy” (MIT Press, 2005) and co-edited the book “Algorithmic Game Theory”, with Nisan, Tardos, and Vazirani (Cambridge, 2007). His awards include the 2002 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award (Honorable Mention), the 2003 Tucker Prize, a 2007 PECASE Award, the 2008 Shapley Lectureship of the Game Theory Society, the 2009 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, and the 2012 EATCS-SIGACT Godel Prize. He recently developed a free online course on the design and analysis of algorithms, enrolling tens of thousands of students.

 

17 SEPTEMBER 2012

Speaker: Oussama Khatib, Professor, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University
Title: Robots and the Human
Host School: UNC
UNC Host: Ron Alterovitz (ron at cs.unc.edu)
Duke Host: Ron Parr (parr at cs.duke.edu)
NCSU Host: Robert St. Amant (stamant at csc.ncsu.edu)

Abstract

Robotics is rapidly expanding into the human environment and vigorously engaged in its new emerging challenges. From a largely dominant industrial focus, robotics has undergone, by the turn of the new millennium, a major transformation in scope and dimensions. This expansion has been brought about by the maturity of the field and the advances in its related technologies to address the pressing needs for human-centered robotic applications. Interacting, exploring, and working with humans, the new generation of robots will increasingly touch people and their lives, in homes, workplaces, and communities, providing support in services, entertainment, education, health care, and assistance. The discussion focuses on new design concepts, novel sensing modalities, efficient planning and control strategies, modeling and understanding of human motion and skills, which are among the key requirements for safe, dependable, and competent robots. The exploration of the human-robot connection is proving extremely valuable in providing new avenues for the study of human motion — with exciting prospects for novel clinical therapies, athletic training, character animation, and human performance improvement.

Biography

Oussama Khatib received his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.  His work on advanced robotics focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human-friendly robot design. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series, and has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals as well as the Chair or Co-Chair of numerous international conferences. He co-edited the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer. He is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR) and a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development. Professor Khatib received the 2010 IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation for his fundamental pioneering contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership, and life-long commitment to the field.

 

5 NOVEMBER 2012

Speaker: Surajit Chaudhuri, Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Research
Title: How different is Big Data?
Host School: NCSU
NCSU Host: Rada Chirkova (rychirko at ncsu.edu)
Duke Host: Shivnath Babu (babu at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: Jay Aikat (aikat at cs.unc.edu)

Abstract

One buzzword that has been popular in the last couple of years is Big Data. In simplest terms, Big Data symbolizes the aspiration to build platforms and tools to ingest, store and analyze data that can be voluminous, diverse, and possibly fast changing. In this talk, I will try to reflect on a few of the technical problems presented by the exploration of Big Data. Some of these challenges in data analytics have been addressed by our community in the past in a more traditional relational database context but only with mixed results. We will review these quests and study some of the key lessons learned. At the same time, significant developments such as the emergence of cloud infrastructure and availability of data rich web services hold the potential for transforming our industry. We will discuss the unique opportunities they present for Big Data Analytics.

Biography

Surajit Chaudhuri is a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft research. His current areas of interest are enterprise data analytics, self-manageability and multi-tenant technology for cloud database services. Surajit is an ACM Fellow, a recipient of the ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award, ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award, a VLDB 10 year Best Paper Award and an IEEE Influential Paper Award. Surajit received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

 

14 JANUARY 2013

SpeakerPietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Title: Visipedia: collaborative harvesting and organization of visual knowledge
Host School: Duke
Duke Host: 
Carlo Tomasi (tomasi at cs.duke.edu
UNC Host: Dinesh Manocha (dm at cs.unc.edu)
NCSU Host: Robert St. Amant (stamant at ncsu.edu)

Abstract

The web is not perfect: while text is easily searched and organized, pictures (the vast majority of the bits that one can find on-line) are not. In order to see how one could improve the web and make pictures first-class citizens of the web, I explore the idea of Visipedia, a visual interface for Wikipedia that is able to answer visual queries and enables experts to contribute and organize visual knowledge. Four distinct groups of humans would interact through Visipedia: users, experts, visual workers and machine vision scientists. The latter would gradually build automata able to interpret images. I will explore some of the technical challenges involved in making Visipedia happen and present our initial results in crowdsourcing visual annotation, building automated field guides and combining machines and humans for discovering, harvesting and organizing visual information.

http://vision.caltech.edu/visipedia/index.html

Joint work with S. Belongie, S. Branson, R. Gomes, K. Wah, P. Welinder

Biography

Pietro Perona is Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology. His interests are in computational vision and in modeling biological vision.

http://www.vision.caltech.edu

 

11 FEBRUARY 2013 CANCELLED TO BE RESCHEDULED

SpeakerRamesh Govindan, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California
Title: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing Systems
Host School: NCSU
NCSU Host: Munindar P. Singh (mpsingh at ncsu.edu)
Duke Host: 
UNC Host:

Abstract

Biography

 

18 FEBRUARY 2013

Speaker: Mike Carey, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of California-Irvine
Title: ASTERIX: A Scalable Big Data Management System
Host School: Duke
Duke Host: Ashwin Machanavajjhala (ashwin.machanavajjhala at gmail.com)
UNC Host: Hye-Chung Kum (kum at cs.unc.edu)
NCSU Host: Kemator Ogan (kogan at ncsu.edu)

Abstract

Like most fields, the database field has gone through various eras – a.k.a. pendulum swings – and we are currently in the era of “One Size Fits All: An Idea Whose Time Has Come and Gone”.  This is great news for industry sectors such as the Bubble Gum industry and the international consortium of Baling Wire manufacturers, and it is also very good news for Information Integration enthusiasts.  Why?  Because the current state of practice related to “Big Data” involves somehow piecing together many systems whose target sizes fit different use cases.  This talk will provide a brief history of Big Data platforms followed by an overview of the ASTERIX project at UC Irvine.  ASTERIX is a new, coherent, scalable, open-source Big Data Management System (BDMS) and underlying software stack that we hope will solve a range of problems that today require too many piece parts to solve.

Biography

Michael J. Carey is currently a Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine.  Immediately prior to joining UCI in 2008, Carey worked at BEA Systems for seven years and served as the chief architect of (and an engineering director for) BEA’s AquaLogic Data Services Platform product.  Carey also spent twelve years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, five years at IBM Almaden as a database researcher/manager, and a year and a half as a Fellow (and briefly VP of Software) at e-commerce software startup Propel Software during the 2000-2001 Internet bubble.  Carey is an ACM Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of the ACM SIGMOD E. F. Codd Innovations Award.  His current research interests are centered around data-intensive computing and scalable data management (a.k.a. Big Data).

25 FEBRUARY 2013

Speaker: Insup Lee, Cecilia Fitler Moore Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Challenges and Research Directions in Medical Cyber-Physical Systems

Host School: UNC
UNC Host: Sanjoy Baruah (baruah at cs.unc.edu
Duke Host: Richard Lucic (lucic at cs.duke.edu)
NCSU Host: Ting Yu (tingyu.ncsu at gamil.com)

Abstract

Medical cyber-physical systems (MCPS) are life-critical, context-aware, networked systems of medical devices. These systems are increasingly used in hospitals to provide high-quality continuous care for patients. The need to design complex MCPS that are both safe and effective has presented numerous challenges, including achieving high assurance in system software, interoperability, context-aware intelligence, autonomy, security and privacy, and device certification. In this talk, I discuss these challenges in developing MCPS and present some of our work in addressing them, and several open research issues.

Biography

Insup Lee is a Cecilia Fitler Moore Professor of Computer and Information Science and Director of PRECISE Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering. He received the B.S. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research interests include cyber physical systems (CPS), real-time embedded systems, formal methods and tools, high-confidence medical device systems, and trust management.  The theme of his research activities has been to assure and improve the correctness, safety, and timeliness of life-critical embedded systems, especially in the area of medical cyber physical systems.

He has served on many program committees and chaired many international conferences and workshops. He has also served on various steering and advisory committees of technical societies, including CPSWeek, ESWeek, ACM SIGBED, IEEE TC-RTS, RV, ATVA. He has served on the editorial boards of the several scientific journals and is a founding co-Editor-in-Chief of KIISE Journal of Computing Science and Engineering (JCSE).  He was Chair of IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems (2003-2004) and an IEEE CS Distinguished Visitor Speaker (2004-2006). He with his student received the best paper award in RTSS 2003. He was a member of Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Networking and Information Technology (NIT), 2006-2007.  He is IEEE fellow and received IEEE TC-RTS Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership Award in 2008.

18 MARCH 2013

Speaker: Steve Seitz, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
Title: A Trillion Photos 
Host School: UNC
UNC Host: Jan-Michael Frahm (jmf at cs.unc.edu)
Duke Host: Carlo Tomasi (tomasi at cs.duke.edu)
NCSU Host:

Abstract

Collectively, we take upwards of a trillion photos each year. These images together comprise a nearly complete visual record of the world’s people, places, things, and events. However, this record is massively disorganized, unlabeled, and untapped. This talk explores ways of transforming this massive, unorganized photo collection into reconstructions and visualizations of the world’s sites, cities, and people. After a brief recap of our work on Photosynth and reconstructing Rome in a day, I will present new work on modeling places and people from large photo collections from my research group at the University of Washington, and the product group that I direct at Google.

Biography

Steven Seitz is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He also directs a computer vision group at Google’s Seattle office. He received his B.A. in computer science and mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and his Ph.D. in computer sciences at the University of Wisconsin in 1997. Following his doctoral work, he spent one year visiting the Vision Technology Group at Microsoft Research and the subsequent two years as an Assistant Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in July 2000. He was twice awarded the David Marr Prize for the best paper at the International Conference of Computer Vision, and he has received an NSF Career Award, and ONR Young Investigator Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and is an IEEE Fellow. His work on Photo Tourism (joint with Noah Snavely and Rick Szeliski) formed the basis of Microsoft’s Photosynth technology. Professor Seitz is interested in problems in computer vision and computer graphics. His current research focuses on 3D modeling and visualization from large photo collections.

25 MARCH 2013

Speaker: Thomas Ball, Research Manager, Software Engineering, Microsoft Research
Title: 
Advances in Automated Theorem Proving: Symbolic Automata, Nonlinear Arithmetic over the Reals, and Fixedpoint Calculation
Host School: 
NCSU
NCSU Host: 
Emerson Murphy-Hill (emerson at csc.ncsu.edu)
Duke Host: Bruce Maggs (bmm at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: Sanjoy Baruah (baruah at cs.unc.edu)

Abstract

In the last decade, advances in satisfiability-modulo-theories (SMT) solvers have powered a new generation of software tools for verification and testing. These tools transform various program analysis problems into the problem of satisfiability of formulas in propositional or first-order logic, where they are discharged by SMT solvers, such as Z3from Microsoft Research (MSR).  In this talk, I’ll review advances from MSR that expand the scope of SMT solvers on several fronts.

These advances are due to Nikolaj Bjorner, Leonardo de Moura, Ken McMillan, and Margus Veanes at MSR, and their colleagues and interns.

Biography

Tomas Ball is a Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research (Redmond), where he works in the area of software engineering, having made contributions in program profiling, software model checking, and empirical software engineering.  He is a 2011 ACM Fellow.